I’m so excited to finally be sharing this gluten-free chocolate cupcakes recipe with you all. I’ve been known in my family and friends circle for this chocolate cake. I’ve been making it for years and it’s been the base of many cakes for baby showers, bridal showers and even a few weddings!
The thing about this cake is it doesn’t taste gluten-free at all. In fact, people are shocked to learn it’s gluten-free after they take a bite. Why? Because these gluten-free cupcakes are so incredibly MOIST! Which is exactly what you want in a cupcake, right? Especially a gluten-free cupcake.
If you’re a chocolate lover, then you’ll love these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. They have double the chocolate! A light and airy chocolate cupcake is topped with a luscious chocolate buttercream that any chocolate lover would swoon over.
Trust me, once you taste these cupcakes you’ll never go back to making boxed cake mixes again. With just one bowl, they’re so simple and delicious.
Why You Should Add Coffee to Your Chocolate Cake
This recipe uses coffee in the ingredients and it’s not to get a chocolate mocha flavor in your cake. Instead, the coffee brings out the rich, chocolate flavor in your cake. I swear, you won’t taste the coffee at all.
You can use decaf coffee if you’d like, but really any coffee will do.
If you are opposed to adding coffee to your chocolate cake, you can instead use boiling water in it’s place.
Can I Make Chocolate Cupcakes Dairy-Free?
This gluten-free chocolate cupcake recipe is so easy to make dairy-free! The fat used in this recipe is vegetable oil instead of butter, so no swaps are needed there.
However, this recipe also calls for buttermilk. I’ve tested this recipe using an equal amount of almond milk mixed with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and the results were just as delicious! So if you have a dairy allergy or intolerance, you can easily make these cupcakes dairy-free!
As for the buttercream, I’ve also tested a dairy-free version using a combination of vegan butter substitute and palm shortening. I like to use a 50/50 mix so that the frosting holds up well but also still has a bit of that buttery flavoring from the vegan butter substitute.
If you’re looking for a vegan recipe, check out this Vegan Chocolate Cake from my friend Erin over at Texanerin and use her gluten-free option in the directions!
How to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
- Mix the gluten-free flour blend, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar in a bowl.
- Add the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, vegetable oil and stir to combine.
- Pour in the hot coffee and stir until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate cupcake batter into the muffin cups lined with paper liner.
- Bake at 350F for 23-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting with chocolate frosting.
How to Create a Buttercream Swirl on Cupcakes
Piping a buttercream swirl on cupcakes is very simple to do. It takes a few extra supplies, but it really does make a big impact. If you’re making these gluten-free cupcakes for a party, using a frosting tip to make a swirl is such a fun idea to create a beautiful presentation. Your friends and family will think you brought these cupcakes from a bakery!
To make a buttercream swirl, you’ll need a pastry bag and a Wilton 1M frosting tip. You can typically find all of these supplies at your local craft store or on Amazon. If you have a Wal-Mart in your area they also have a cake decorating section which will have these supplies.
I personally do not like to pipe my frosting too high. Although it looks pretty, it’s too much frosting for my liking. I like to keep my cake to frosting ratio more cake, less frosting.
Pipe A Buttercream Swirl on Cupcakes
- Place the frosting tip in your pastry bag. Place the pastry bag in a drinking glass and fold the bag over the sides. This creates a stable base so you have both hands free.
- Spoon the buttercream into the pastry bag, being sure not to overfill the bag. Place the pastry bag in your hand and twist the top to close the bag.
- Hold the pastry bag in your dominant hand at a 45 degree angle. Starting at the outer edge of the cupcake, apply pressure to the bag and continue in a circular motion around the cupcake until you read the center. Once you reach the center, release the pressure.
Of course, you can always use a knife or offset spatula to frost your cupcakes if you don’t want to make a buttercream swirl.
Looking for more gluten-free cupcake and muffin recipes? Try these!
- Gluten-Free Black Bottom Cupcakes
- Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Gluten Free Cinnamon Muffins with Streusel Topping
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
This classic chocolate cupcake gets a gluten-free makeover in this gluten-free chocolate cupcake recipe. Moist and rich, who knew gluten-free cupcakes could taste so good! These cupcakes are a great option for birthday parties and will make a chocolate lover out of anyone. Plus, they’re easy to make dairy-free, too!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend*)
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter if you prefer)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup almond milk mixed with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar)
- 1 cup hot coffee
For the Chocolate Frosting:
- 8 tbsp softened butter (or a 50/50 mix of palm oil shortening and vegan butter)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder (sifted)
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup milk (or almond milk)
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer), combine gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar and which to combine.
- Add vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs and buttermilk and mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the hot water and mix for an additional 1-2 minutes. The batter will be very thin. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the batter to slightly thicken.
- Pour into cupcakes liners and fill about 1/2 full, filling all 24 cups.
- Bake at 350F for 23-25 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes spring back and when a toothpick is inserted it comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before topping with buttercream.
To Make the Frosting:
- Add softened butter and salt to a large bowl. Mix until creamy.
- Stir in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and mix until combined.
- Then, add the vanilla extract and milk (one tablespoon at a time) until the frosting is thick and creamy. You want it to be able to hold it's shape when piped.
- If your frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add more milk.
- When the cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe buttercream onto the cupcakes.